“Oh, I’m not eating lunch today, I’m going out for dinner and I want to save my calories.”
This time of year especially treats are plenty, booze is considered a food group and meals are particularly indulgent. The temptation to miss breakfast or skip lunch to “save” calories rears its ugly head. On paper it may sounds like a good idea. But guess what – it’s NOT. In fact, skipping meals to “save” calories has a detrimental effect.
This is the point in this post where I remind all of you that I am NOT a nutritionist or a doctor. So, remember that, okay? If you don’t feel like taking my word for the information to follow, you can check out these sources here, here and here for some back-up content to support what I’m about to tell you.
Here’s the deal. If you don’t consume enough calories throughout the day your body becomes hungry, like – really – hungry. When your body enters this starvation mode it assumes that it isn’t going to receive sustenance for quite some time so your metabolism automatically starts to slow down to conserve calories and energy. Did you read that? Allow me to repeat: your metabolism slows down. People, this is science. Truth.
Furthermore, your body naturally starts to feed on its available resources for food: muscle. That’s right, the beautiful “toned,” “long,” and “lean” muscle that you’ve been working so hard to get? Your body is eating it because it’s freaking hungry since you’re holding out for that pasta dinner with your girlfriends in 6 hours. When you lose muscle mass your metabolism slows even further which ends up being more detrimental than the cheat meal you’re so graciously allowing yourself.
What happens when you finally get to dinner after a day of being a raging B because you’re so hungry (read: hangry)? Your body is like, “OMG! It’s about time!” But then it SAVES the calories, fat, and other crap you’re consuming because it assumes that it will be in starvation mode a matter of hours later. So now you’ve not only lost muscle mass, you’re holding on to unhealthy fats, calories, and processed ingredients. So gross.
So how do you maintain your metabolism while enjoying a night out at that restaurant you’ve been stalking Open Table to get into? Keep eating your daily 5-6 meals. Refer back to this nutritional outline. Eat clean as hell so that your body is moving as efficiently as possible by the time your first bottle of wine and appetizer hits that white table cloth. You’ll not only enjoy a fabulous night out, but you’ll wake up feeling great, energized and ready to hit it hard the next day.
Questions? This is a topic I feel really strongly about, so shoot me a contact inquiry if you want more dets or further discussion. Seriously.
Image via: Live Science